Graston Technique For Sports Injuries
Soft tissue injuries occur whenever force and strain are applied to muscles. Years of running, lifting, and sports cause scar tissue to develop in muscles which affects performance and leads to pain and injuries.
Graston Technique is utilized in many professional, Olympic, and collegiate sports therapy programs. Specifically-designed stainless steel instruments have rounded, concave and convex edges. The edges are not sharp and are used to detect and effectively treat soft tissue fibrosis or chronic inflammation. With these instruments the practitioner can scan over and detect areas of fibrotic tissue.
Your friends who have had the treatment before will tell you the muscles feel "bumpy with knots" or like its "going over a washboard."
Scar tissue forms when tissue does not heal correctly, or is under chronic, repetitive stress. Scar tissue is weaker than normal muscle and connective tissue, which is why it becomes chronically sore with activity.
Scar tissue forms when the body lays down bad fibers. With continuous and repetitive stress such as running and lifting, scar tissue accumulates and becomes problematic. Some scar tissue forms between muscles everyday, but normal stretching and movement breaks it up. When scar tissue permanently accumulates it creates fascial adhesions or "patches" that don't function like normal muscle or tendons (the knot you feel in muscles).
And NO a foam roller does not break up scar tissue. Can you break up an onion by squishing it? Or do you need to pull the layers apart?
Graston Techniques pulls the fibers past each other to break up scar tissue in muscles and tendons. The pulling and shearing forces effectively breaks scar tissue down.
The broken fibers release inflammatory chemicals which cause the bodies repair cells (fibroblasts) to migrate to the muscle and replace the scar tissue with quality muscle fibers. The next treatment breaks up more of the "onion" and causes more repair. It is a process.
Graston Technique, ASTYM, IASTM, and A.R.T are all more effective when the treatments are combined with stretching and exercises during the visit. The increased strain from exercises and stretching enhances the repair process.
Athletes with chronic injuries often have patches of scar tissue altering their muscle activity. This is very common in runners with chronic IT band tendinitis or plantar fasciitis. Years of low grade repetitive trauma eventually overwhelm the tissue and patches of scar tissue become pain sources. These patches alter normal running gaits, leading to excessive tissue damage.
Treatment combines Graston Technique with specific exercises and stretches to "fix" your muscle weakness and altered muscle patterns. For more information on altered running gaits, muscle imbalances, and weakness leading to injuries follow the previous link to IT band tendinitis.
Scar tissue that alters muscle function can be a difficult concept to grasp. Think of those knots in your shoulders or quadriceps that you are always trying to get some to rub. If those knots do not go away during a massage, then they are accumulations of scar tissue.
Watch the following Video by Dr. Gil Hedley, an anatomist showing a cadaver with a shoulder restricted by scar tissue, or "fuzz" as he calls it.
Your body is amazing at surviving and compensating. It uses scar tissue to form a temporary patch; however, when the temporary patch becomes permanent it affects performance. Soft tissue adhesions lead to painful injuries that keep you from exercising.
Find out the benefits of Graston Technique and how it can improve your performance by experiencing 3 Free Graston Technique Visits.
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We look forward to getting you out of pain today.
Carson Robertson DC